Author(s): Ogbu O, Ajuluchukwu E, Uneke CJ
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Abstract Lassa fever is an acute viral zoonotic illness caused by Lassa virus, an arenavirus known to be responsible for a severe haemorrhagic fever characterised by fever, muscle aches, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and, chest and abdominal pain. The virus exhibits persistent, asymptomatic infection with profuse urinary virus excretion in the ubiquitous rodent vector, Mastomys natalensis. Lassa fever is endemic in West Africa and has been reported from Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Nigeria. Some studies indicate that 300,000 to 500,000 cases of Lassa fever and 5000 deaths occur yearly across West Africa. Studies reported in English, that investigated Lassa fever with reference to West Africa were identified using the Medline Entrez-PubMed search and were used for this review. The scarcity of resources available for health care delivery system and the political instability that characterise the West African countries would continue to impede efforts for the control of Lassa fever in the sub-region. There is need for adequate training of health care workers regarding diagnostics, intensive care of patients under isolation, contact tracing, adequate precautionary measures in handling infectious laboratory specimens, control of the vector as well as care and disposal of infectious waste.
This article was published in J Vector Borne Dis
and referenced in Epidemiology: Open Access